QCon San Francisco 2008 – Dave West – Agile Transcendence

This was such an interesting talk. At least for those of us who are interested about what drives us developing software. As a side note this came up a few times during questions after Kent Beck’s keynote but the answers were rather less interesting being mostly about money and the good of humanity. This talk echoed with a lot of ideas I have been munching on for the past year about the philosophical make of Agile developers. I also have a rather keen interest for japan.

Dave’s talk was a crash course, impressionist, education in Zen philosophy, the arts ranging from the degree of enlightenment to the prowess that the fully enlightened and what it is that the disciple seek. I am not sure what the point of the talk was though. I think it was a warning that agile in software development cannot be the recipe of the day. It is a way of life, a path to enlightenment (in the Zen sense), in other words a quest for perfection through constant improvement. Although being a software developer is not as noble as being a monk, a warrior or even a sword craftsman.

Unfortunately, being that I am rather shy and I did not go to the conference parties I could not validate my impressions with Dave West and I have the impression it would have been a very long conversation. So please, if you attended this session, correct me ! I will write on this subject further in another post.

And by the way, should we talk about transcendence or immanence ?

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